Happy Valentine’s Day! I celebrate this day because I was brought up on the idea that love extends outside our front doors, goes in the neighborhood, schools, and the world around us. And the world needs an extra hug, wink, or a blown kiss right now. So don’t worry about not having a date, or the box of chocolates, don’t rush out and buy gifts. Just send a little love and hope out today. That will be enough, trust me.
I went to Washington, D.C. to attend AWP, the Association of Writers &Writing Programs annual conference last week. I got off to a great start on Thursday, and then caught a bug that is making the rounds and could not finish the conference. But what I attended was great—sessions on essays, novels, flash pieces, and writing about experiences abroad. I heard Jacqueline Woodson, author of over 30 books, including Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming, a National Book Award Winner, deliver a powerful lecture and reading and was able to talk to her after the session. I saw and met working writers, some famous, most of them not as well known, and I felt fortunate to be among my tribe, as varied as it is. Next year’s conference is in Tampa; I will be there and hope no bug cuts it short. Find your people; participate in and support their organizations—it creates community and inspires.
Morning ritual and routine—It might sound boring to want a more predictable pattern but I am trying to establish a better rhythm to my weekdays, especially in the morning. Today I spent quiet time in devotion and a brief meditation, and felt my soul still. A few times, my mind was quickened by thoughts of projects that I need to work on, topics about which I can write, but I listened, took note, confident that the idea would return later, and went back to being still. I felt ready to work when my quiet time was over. Later, a friend passed on a clip of a song that moved me and I thought, I need a morning anthem, something that might set the tone for the day. I’ll work on that later. Mornings are everything for me and if I can start by being more consistent in my morning practice, perhaps the rest of the day will unfold in the manner best suited for my dreams and goals.
My energy might be lower than normal but my enthusiasm is high. I am writing today, which makes me feel like I am living out my purpose. I hope you can celebrate this Valentine’s Day living out yours.